“Save the bees” had been the slogan of an appeal to German minister of Agriculture, Ilse Aigner, requesting her to support rather than fight the EU Commissions proposal for 7 percent ecological focus area per farm. These focus areas are urgently needed by bees among many other animals which are important partners of agriculture. However, Ms. Aigner seemed not overly impressed and certainly not sympathetic with the demand, when she received the signatures from bee keepers and representatives of the German NGO network “Meine Landwirtschaft” (my agriculture).
Germany had always been in favour of Greening the CAP, Aigner claimed, but not in favor of setting aside land, which was much needed to feed the hungry and supply Germans with energy. Aigner would not comment on media claims that her boss, chancellor Angela Merkel, had already suggested a deal to cut ecological focus areas to 3,5 %. “All things are connected”, the minister told the NGO representatives and certainly the degree of Greening strongly depended on the amount of money provided for the sector by the heads of state’s budget compromise.
The bee keepers, “Meine Landwirtschaft” and online campaign organisation Campact deplored the fact that Aigner would only spend 10 minutes for a hand-over but leave no room for real discussions on the topic.